Issue #64 Articles

What Do We Know? Anthropology and Birth Activism

During a birth advocacy dinner I once attended in Seattle, a doula raised her glass and made the last toast: “For all the women who don’t know.”My reactions trembled on the existential brink. As both an anthropologist and a birth activist, I am...

Birthing with the Wisdom of the Ages

It is sometimes called our “inner knowing,” a “gut feeling,” or “the wisdom within.” Whatever its name, the experience is universal. It is a feeling, a word, or an image that stands out bolder than the regular stream of conscious thought and makes a...

Birthing in Peace

A Conversation with Ina May Gaskin on the Forces Surrounding Birth Interview conducted by Michael Mendizza

Birth, Baby, and Breastfeeding

In a typical C-section, a small incision is made in the mom’s abdomen and the doctor, hands around baby’s neck, pulls upward and maneuvers the baby out. This is how one out of every three babies in the United States enters the world. This is how Owe...

The Growing Role of Chiropractic in Childbirth Education

There are few things harder for a childbirth educator to watch than a couple who tried desperately to achieve a natural birth have it slip through their fingers. How do well-prepared people sometimes end up with a birth very different than the one...

How to Describe Birth to a First-Time Pregnant Woman

I’ll come straight to the point: There is a severe lack of women on this planet who enjoy their birthing experience, let alone walking away from it with a profound depth of empowerment. What is going so wrong? When I tried to talk to mothers in my...

Taking Charge of Giving Birth

A commitment to natural delivery in a birth center, without doctors or pain relief of any kind on the premises, was the farthest notion from my mind the summer I learned I was pregnant. Like many other newly expecting women, I reluctantly...

Pain in Labor: Your Hormones Are Your Helpers

Imagine this. Your cat is pregnant, due to give birth around the same time as you are. You have your bags packed for the hospital and are awaiting the first signs of labor with excitement and a little nervousness. Meanwhile, your cat has...

Why Home Birth Is Necessary

When there is no home birth in a society, or when home birth is driven completely underground, essential knowledge of women’s capacities in birth is lost to the people of that society— to professional caregivers, as well as to women of childbearing...

You’re Not Allowed to Not Allow Me

Reclaiming the Rights of Mothers During BirthFor most women, pregnancy and childbirth are one of the few times we let other adults tell us what we are “allowed” and “not allowed” to do with our own bodies. It’s time to change our language...

Induction

Will the baby outgrow the pelvis before she births? What do we risk by choosing to induce?The ARRIVE trial is the capstone of a decades-long effort to demonstrate that awaiting labor has no benefits and that inducing labor doesn’t...

Human Studies Condemn Ultrasound

We want to trust. We want—almost need— to believe that medical and pharmaceutical interventions have been vetted. When our doctors tell us not to worry, we want to take their word for it. Unfortunately, history has shown us that every rec...

The Vital First Adjustment

The baby was born without respiration or a heartbeat. There are moments in one’s life where time seems to slow down and you truly do experience an out-of-body sensation. There were so many things going on around me, but all I could do was stare at t...

Midwives

As I attend and present at midwifery and birthing conferences on behalf of the ICPA, I am constantly reminded that midwives and doulas are aligned with chiropractors in numerous ways. Some of the common bonds we share...

A Way of Blessing

The blessingway ceremony has its roots in the traditions of the Navajo hoshooji ceremony in North America. It celebrates a feminine rite of passage, inducting women into new and venerated phases of their lives. Customarily, the blessingway ceremony...

Vision of a Freebirth Community

Imagine a world where childbirth was a sacred event in the family cycle, where the birth of a child was completely free in all senses of the word. The word “free” historically connoted an affectionate relationship— between members of a house...

One Conscious Path in Parenting

As I opened the doors to the grand ballroom, I felt the spirited energy of the current presenter, Howard Moody. He was engaging the audience in an activity that allowed them to discover their playfulness. I scanned the room. It was packed to...